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Positive Bodies: Loving the Skin You're In


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Research tell us that 60% of women and 35% of men are dissatisfied with some part of their bodies.

For youth aged 14 to 25 years old, body image is their number one concern — more important than family, friends and school.

A negative body image can lead to anxiety and depression, affecting our self-esteem, gender identity, mood, level of sexual fulfilment and eating patterns.

Positive Bodies is designed to equip you with the skills, knowledge, and thinking to foster a positive body image in yourself and others. It is based on tried and tested CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) principles and features real-life examples of those who have struggled but won their war against body image dissatisfaction and self-hatred. Appropriate for men and women of any age including adolescents and children, Positive Bodies can also assist parents, teachers and counsellors wanting to help others with body dissatisfaction issues. Helpful worksheets with activities are included along with information on the warning signs of eating disorders; tackling binge eating and fussy eaters; managing stress, anxiety and depression; being a positive role model; boosting self-esteem; and where to go to get additional help. If you’ve already started your journey towards a positive body image, practising the techniques and strategies in Positive Bodies will enhance the work you’re already doing.

Our body image is unique to us and our own experiences. While we might describe two people as both having a negative body image, their experiences are likely to be quite different. The parts of their body that they dislike will most likely differ along with the different events that trigger their distress. It is also likely that they have very different thoughts and feelings about their bodies and handle their problems in very different ways. It is often the importance we place on appearance, for example, that determines how our own perception will affect us. Therefore, your own body image experience is unique to you. The following chapter will help you see where your beliefs about and feelings towards your body may have come from, and in later chapters how you challenge these to feel more positive about your body.
It is worthwhile spending some time trying to understand your own body image. What parts of your body are you unhappy with? What situations trigger distress and lead you to feel negatively towards your body? What beliefs and assumptions do you have about your own body and about physical appearance in general and how do these affect the way you feel? What do you do to cope with these negative feelings? Answering such questions can not only assist you in understanding your current body image experience but can also help you identify particular areas that may be in need of change. It can be helpful when working on your goals to focus on how you’d like to feel, think and behave differently about and towards your body. For example, ‘I’d like to feel more love towards my stomach, I’d like to stop overeating every day, and I’d like to exercise for fun’. Focus on what you’d like to do differently and put it in the positive. Remember to be specific and also think of how you’d measure the change, how you’d know when you’ve achieved your goals. There might some behaviours you’d like to increase such as fun activities and more exercise, and others you’d like to decrease such as overeating, starving yourself or exercising only for weight loss.



Published by
Published 01 October 2012
Reads 1
EAN13 9781921513954
Language English

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